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UT Elementary School Rides Momentum into Seventh Year

Giving News

Ramona Treviño, UT Elementary's founding principal and CEO

Ramona Treviño, UT Elementary's founding principal and CEO

By Jamey Smith

“The vision of our school — to bridge research and theory from the best and brightest at The University of Texas at Austin and to practice, demonstrate, and disseminate it — has become reality,” says Ramona Treviño, MEd ’86, PhD ’06, founding principal and chief executive officer of the University of Texas Elementary School.

She points with pride to successes like the Urban Education Pilot Program, a collaboration between the 260-student school, UT’s College of Education and Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, and the Austin Independent School District. Under the program, UT Elementary’s master teachers share their knowledge and real-life experience with undergraduates and veteran professors alike.

Treviño commends her teachers “for their tireless efforts, their expertise in teaching the students and supporting families in East Austin, and their role as guest lecturers and staff developers” — all while other educators and VIPs from as far away as Japan tour their classrooms for insights. While the teachers’ work has been crucial to UT Elementary’s earning another “Exemplary” rating (the state’s highest), there are many others who also deserve thanks for the school’s success, Treviño says. “We could not do the purposeful work we do without the donations and support of individuals, foundations, and corporations who believe in our mission.”

Little Longhorns, big Longhorn: Mickey Klein (right) and friends at UT Elementary

Little Longhorns, big Longhorn: Mickey Klein (right) and friends

One of those individuals is Mickey Klein, BS ’58, LLB ’63, who along with his wife Jeanne, BS ’67, volunteers often at the school and has provided materials, helped pay for support staff, and even sent the fourth grade on an educational field trip to Sea World the past several years. Along with Marina Walne, executive director of the UT System’s Institute for Public School Initiatives, Klein recently received UT Elementary’s highest honor, the Star of Texas Award.

The six-year-old school is still operating in portable buildings but is in the midst of a campaign to raise funds for an endowment and permanent campus. Learn more at

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